French President Macron witnesses India's grand Republic Day parade

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday watched India's 75th Republic Day celebrations at the majestic Kartavya Path, joining a select group of global leaders to have graced the nation's biggest ceremonial in the last seven decades.
French President Macron during Republic day parade
French President Macron during Republic day parade

New Delhi | French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday watched India's 75th Republic Day celebrations at the majestic Kartavya Path, joining a select group of global leaders to have graced the nation's biggest ceremonial in the last seven decades.

As the chief guest at the ceremony, Macron witnessed the grand military parade and the cultural performances along with President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, members of the Union Cabinet, foreign diplomats and a host of other dignitaries.

It was the sixth time that a French leader was the chief guest at the Republic Day parade.

President Macron held wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Modi on Thursday in Jaipur.

A 95-member marching contingent and a 30-member band contingent from France also took part in the parade.

Two Rafale fighters and an Airbus A330 multi-role tanker transport aircraft of the French air force will also feature in the celebrations.

Every year, India invites world leaders to attend its Republic Day celebrations. Last year, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi graced the occasion.

There was no Republic Day chief guest in 2021 and 2022 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, then Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations. In 2019, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was the chief guest at the Republic Day parade, while in 2018, leaders of all 10 ASEAN countries attended the celebrations.

In 2017, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was the chief guest at the celebrations, while then French President Francois Hollande graced the occasion in 2016.

In 2015, then US President Barack Obama watched the parade. In 2014, then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the chief guest at the celebrations, while Bhutan king Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck attended the parade in 2013.

The heads of state and government who have attended the Republic Day celebrations include Nicolas Sarkozy, Vladimir Putin, Nelson Mandela, John Major, Mohammed Khatami and Jacques Chirac.

The then British Prime Minister John Major had attended the celebrations in 1993, Nelson Mandela participated as the then South African President in 1995 while South Korean President President Lee Myung Bak witnessed the parade in 2010.

In 2008, Sarkozy participated in the celebrations as the French president, while another French President Chirac graced the occasion in 1998.

Other world leaders who have attended the celebrations include Nepal's King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev in 1999, Iran's then President Mohammed Khatami in 2003, then Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2011 and President of Maldives Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in 1991.

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